Facebook Twitter Google RSS

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Interview with local Actor & Director Ron Houston of Dalton....

Picture from Pinterest

My latest chat is with Ron Houston of Dalton, Georgia, is a retired nurse as well as theatre enthusiast.  He will also be featured in August copy of  For Women Only Magazine in DaltonHe has been acting and volunteering with Dalton Little Theatre since 2002. He admits he probably would never have acted if not for the encouragement of his late wife Carol. They were married eighteen years.

He decided to create the Carol Braden Houston Memorial Scholarship Fund in honor of her and her work.  Carol was the founding director of Dalton's Infant Pre-school Council, which was created back in 1985. The mission of the council was to assist pregnant teens and teen mothers to stay in school and learn to care for themselves and their children. She was also the first female member of the Dalton Kiwanis Club. 

Carol Braden Houston

Introducing Ron...

What do you love about your life right now?

A lot of stuff…One thing, I know what’s important in life, and that is relationships. My friends, my girlfriend Stephanie Haynes, my son Kevin, my daughter Nicki, two grandkids (Noah and Henry), relatives, and friends are all important to me.
Another thing, since Carol passed away, I don’t allow a lot of things get to me like they use to like for example politics.

You decided to direct the play Steel Magnolias to help raise funds for Carol Braden Houston Memorial Scholarship Fund. How is the scholarship awarded?

The scholarship is given out to a teen parent at end of the school year. It’s based on grade average with intention of furthering their education once they graduate. We award at the end of the school year.  We’ve awarded three since it was created in 2016. 

What’s the area of teen parents who are awarded?

Whitfield and Murray Counties

Tell me why you picked Steel Magnolias?

I picked it because my late wife loved the film and identified with Shelby because she was also a diabetic. On the poster for the play is: “it’s ok to be a female, strong, diabetic and southern." All of the characters all have one element that I can identify with Carol. 

When are the performance dates? 

The play will be performed at Northwest Whitfield High School on Friday, August  17, Saturday, August 18, and Sunday, August 19 at 2PM. Friday and Saturday will be at 7PM.

Do you have a favorite scene? 

One that hits home is when Shelby has her insulin reaction. Another favorite scene is in the last scene. When the ladies are consoling M’Lynn and also when Clairee grabs Ouiser and says “Hit her”. They end up laughing and realize that they can still laugh in spite of their sorrow. The ladies remind of my Grief Support group by banding together, laughing, crying, and sometimes evening having an argument.

Tell me three fun facts about you.

I’m a feminist. I believe in women’s rights. I like to observe people and imagine what their life would be like, you know to create a story about them. I like to do impressions, but I’m not good at it.

What are some of your hobbies and interests?

Painting and reading are a couple of my hobbies. Some of my favorite books are by  Stephen King, and my favorite book is “To Kill a Mockingbird” I enjoy biographies as well.  I also enjoy acting, and Carol encouraged me to act in a play in 2002. I’ve never done that before at DLT, and it was called Harvey. I played the lead.
I love Jimmy Stewart movies. I also enjoy talking to people and get to know them and some of their story. 

Who do you look up to?

One person is Jimmy Carter because he knew how to admit mistakes, and he was honest. He talked about his faith and did something with his faith as well. He admitted he wasn’t perfect. He keeps it real. I admire him a lot, and we happen to share the same birthday October 1st. 

Was there a particular actor or film that inspired you to act?

Jimmy Stewart... I wanted to get involved with theatre because I did enjoy attending the shows.

What do you love about acting?

I like the challenge of it to get a role and put a part of myself in it.  I like to create a backstory for the characters I portray on stage.

If there was one thing you could change in the world what that be?

That everybody could have Universal Healthcare.

Is there a play you would like to act in but haven’t?

Yes, To Kill a Mockingbird.

When you’re having a tough day, where do you go for encouragement?

I pray and sometimes go for a drive. I talked to my girlfriend.

I share quotes with my readers, do you have a favorite quote you would like to share?

Albert Pine “What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others is immortal.”  I’m trying to live by that. It was also a favorite of Carol's.

The cast of Steel Magnolias: Pictured seated from left Sierra Holcomb, Sabrina Akers, back row from left Maria Rochelle, Amanda Havelin, Ron Houston, Jennifer Bryant, and Vicky Quinn
The cast members are Sabrina Akers as Annelle, Sierra Holcomb as Shelby, Maria Rochelle as Clairee, Amanda Havelin as M'Lynn, Jennifer Bryant as Truvy, and Vicky Quinn as Ouiser. The play is directed by Ron Houston and Jim Lansing.

For more information and to purchase tickets for the play, please click here 

As always, thank you for reading and sharing my interviews!

Saturday, 28 July 2018

The CrossFit Life...Chat with Beth Gomez

Beth Gomez hits the gym probably every day, and she isn't just into being fit. She's into being CROSSFIT! She loves CrossFit and she's been active in it for two years. She recently obtained her certification level one as a trainer. She has been working out and training and just recently started teaching classes at CrossFit1108 at 205 E. Emery Street in Dalton. I talked to her recently and found out what she loves about it.

Beth with Dave Lipson who is a trainer and also a member of CrossFit HQ Staff

What do you love your life right now? 
CrossFit! It really has helped me. I was really depressed and Chris who owns the gym reached out to me and encouraged me to get involved in the gym as a trainer. He said I should come out and be involved in the gym and not stay home. Everyone at CrossFit 1108 encourages everyone to be their best and help you if you have a problem. I just recently started training. I love to train and share my knowledge and share personal records.

When did you receive your certification as a trainer? 
June of this year at CrossFit Mayhem in Cookeville, Tennessee at Rich Froning's gym. He has won in  CrossFit Games for four years in a row.

Beth with a group of other CrossFit men and women preparing to take be CrossFit trainers.

When do you train?
I teach a women's class on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:30PM.

Explain what is CrossFit? 
Constant varying high-intensity movements. You get everything you need in that one workout. You get cardio, weight lifting, and gymnastics.

What does it teach you? 
You are as good as you wanna be. If you put the work in, you can go as far as you want to go.

Tell me three fun facts about you.
Well, for one, I like to watch a lot of documentaries. I get wild when I drink, and I love animals.

What motivates you to do CrossFit? 
I want to be healthy and be strong. I'm getting older. People have to realize as we age and if we are sedentary and not eating well, it's detrimental to your health.

Beth's motto is "Be happy". She says, "Life is too short to hold grudges. If you're not at a gym, get out and do something. Walk or take a run and eat better. Just do something."

 If you would like to attend Beth's class or be a member of the CrossFit 1108,  here's the link: CrossFit or call 706-307-2508.
She will be teaching a women's class on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:30.

Pictures from the CrossFit 1108 in Dalton

Info for conduct at gym

More info on what is CrossFit

Before You Book It, You Gotta Tape It

Actors and all of you who are in the entertainment industry this post is for you.

Atlanta along with other cities in Georgia has become the Hollywood of the South where films and television shows are being filmed there and a ton of networking events for the industry. The Walking Dead, Hunger Games franchise and Stranger Things are just a few that are being filmed in the area of Hotlanta. Read more about that here.

Needless to say, the entertainment industry is HOT in the A! With all that heat, auditions are necessary to book a role, so where can actors find a place to film their audition tape? And better yet, where can they find a place that will do the first one for free? That’s right, you read it correctly.

Well, actors and actresses, look no further and check out Tape2Book. They will film your first audition tape for nada, no charge or the other F-word: FREE. Tape2Book is a budget-friendly studio to help actors tape their audition tapes along with photography services.

Tape2Book was created by Chozy Aiyub, an Atlanta based actor, who decided to pursue his acting career late last year. He decided to create Tape2Book while attending classes at Drama Inc and AMAW studios. He understands what actors go through because he is one as well, and he knows your time is valuable along with what's in your wallet. He wants your experience with Tape2Book to be fun, positive, affordable, and he wants you to book that role. He'll be your coach during the taping, and afterward, he'll be cheering you on to book it! 

Here are a couple of testimonials.
"Chozy is really an amazing individual! His creativeness and unmatched work ethic is such a pleasure to be around. His love for the craft as well as the actors he is surrounded by, I can see fuels his passion for the industry. I really enjoy working with him and his rates are probably the best in town as far as price. Thank you, Chozy for everything and look forward to so much more brother!" Markus Lamberts
"Love working with Chozy for my last minute audition tapes! He has a pretty awesome setup, and I can tell how much time and money he invests in his equipment. Plus $30 an hour, yeah, and you can't beat that. Not to mention how fun he makes the experience."  Leydi Morales
Social links are below. To schedule your first audition tape for free, click here.

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Dear Hope

A short story...

Dear Hope,
I had another dream about you last night. It was so real. I held you in my arms and told you how much I love you. You smiled back at me and went fast asleep in my arms.  I admired how beautiful and precious you were laying in my arms. I couldn’t believe how blue your eyes were, and you had the cutest smile.  Your hair was a little curly even at your young age, and it was the prettiest shade of red I’ve ever seen. 

You were the best thing that happened to me, and I couldn’t wait to wake up in the mornings or during the middle of the night to take care of you. You were only fussy when you were hungry, and you seem to sleep quite a bit. How I loved showing you off in the cutest outfits and little bows for your hair. I remember taking you outside in the stroller and looking up at the blue skies and feeling so lucky that I had you.

Twelve years ago, I was expecting you. I remember when I took the pregnancy test, and it was positive. I actually took five tests that morning just to be sure!  I couldn’t believe it!  I even got in to see my doctor that afternoon to confirm (just in case) and yes it was true!

We had been trying for two years, and it finally happened.  I didn’t want to tell your Daddy over the phone; I wanted to do something special to tell him. So, I made a dinner reservation at our favorite Italian restaurant.  I had bought a card with a picture of a baby on it and wrote a note in it saying: Guess who is going to be a Daddy? 

When he came home that night from work, I did my best to act normal. I told him that dinner was going to be at our favorite restaurant. I told him that it would be nice to have dinner out tonight since it was Friday. We hopped in the car and away we went.

We ordered the trio special: lasagna, chicken parmesan, and meatballs. I gave him the card before our main entrees came out. He was so excited and overjoyed that he was going to be a Dad! He hugged me and then yelled in the room: I’m going to be a Dad! Everyone congratulated us, and I remember thinking well so much for keeping it quiet till we tell our parents. But he was so excited and I cried watching his reaction.

After dinner, we called our parents. I come from a large family,  and my Mom was so happy for us. His parents were overjoyed as well.  That night, I started writing down a list of things I knew I was going to need, and the next day I started shopping for maternity clothes and clothes for you too. 

During my second trimester with you, something happened. I wasn’t feeling well at all that particular Monday in May.  I figured that maybe I was overworking too much. I was volunteering and working a full-time job; I thought maybe I should just lie down.  I read a little in the book What to Expect When You’re Expecting to double check. I would just take a few moments and rest my body and my mind. Close my eyes and fall asleep, and it will be all -fine. I did just that, and I woke up later in pain. I was bleeding and then it got so much worse. I had to call for an ambulance.

I lost you, Hope.

I had to tell this to you. I had so much faith that you would happen that I would dream about you. I visualize you would be in my arms one day, and it was so overwhelming when I found out I was pregnant. I had prayed for a baby just like Sarah, Elizabeth, and other barren women in the Bible. Just like some women do today. They pray, believe, and hope it happens. I did all of that. Even though I never got to hold you, I did have this faith that one day I would hold you. I thought that one day I would be that Mom who brags about her little girl.  I had imagined so many things that I would do when I became your Mom.

You see Hope you were so real. You were living at one time in me and then gone. Even though this is just a memory, you will always be mine...my Deanna Hope. Your first name is after a character, Deanna Troi, from Star Trek: The Next Generation

We never were able to conceive again. I never got to have my rainbow baby. Like Maya Angelou once said, "Be a rainbow in someone else's cloud." That's what I've trying to do since is to be a comfort to others in their dark days. I just finally felt like I could share my darkest day when I lost you.

Dear Hope, I want you to know that one day I will see you again. For right now, it's only in my dreams. 



*The Maya Angelou quote and the picture with blue sky with clouds are from Pinterest.

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Interview with Jarrett Collins...Actor, Writer, and Music Producer leading his DREAMS in Atlana

Jarrett Michael Collins is from Dayton, Ohio where he discovered his love for the arts at a young age. He's an actor, music producer, and writer pursuing his dreams and passion in the film industry in Atlanta which is being called Hollywood of the South. He's one of the co-owners of  The Booking Room in Atlanta where actors can work on their craft amongst their peers. It was created by actors for actors.  

We briefly discuss his fears which I know some people don't like to talk about. Just from talking to him and others,  I learned that their fears change with their growth. He mentions that as he was growing up he feared failure which I believe we all can relate to that. Then as he got older, he had a fear of success and of not letting his friends and family down. Even that has changed for him in that he allows it to motivate him instead of hindering him. 

We talked about his favorite roles and those he looks up to in the industry. Read what has been so far his favorite role so far in his career. I'll give you a hint: it's on Netflix. Alright, I know that's not fair, but I will add it's a popular show. Learn about Jarrett and how it all started for him.

Introducing Jarrett

What do you love about your life right now?

 I made an effort to have some sense of balance and to be able to balance my relationships with my friends, my artistic career, and to also take the time to focus on myself. I call myself a very spiritual person, and I definitely try to be. So, I really try to put God in a lot of things that I do, and to have a balance and to do all those things is not exactly the easiest thing in the world. I think the one thing that I love about my life right now is that I’m starting to get better about finding that balance. It has really made me a better person for it.

Was there any particular actor or film that inspired you to act?  

I was a big watcher of things like In Living Color. The actors on there like David Alan Grier, Jim Carrey, and the Wayans brothers influenced me. That show was the beginning. I’ve always been theatrical or over dramatic but not in a bad way from a young age. Watching shows like In Living Color when I was younger kind of influence that, so like Jim Carey and David Alan Grier are some of my favorite actors growing up. Leonardo DiCaprio is a big favorite of mine, and Will Smith along with Martin Lawrence as well. I love what Smith and Lawrence were doing. They’re hilarious and extremely talented.

You’ve been involved in the arts since you were a child and even wrote a book in elementary school. Do you remember what the title was? 

I do not remember. I really wish I did. It was an adventure book, and it was a kid who had a sword and shield. It was NeverEnding Story inspired. I illustrated it and I wrote it, and that’s what helped me to win first place in the citywide competition for kindergartens.  One thing I’ve never doubted about myself is the love of the arts. It’s been there since I was a very little boy.

 I’ve seen you perform on The Quad, Cream x Coffee, in a music video by Tammy Rivera titled All These Kisses, and perform improv as well. You’re a versatile actor, do you prefer drama over comedy?

I prefer comedy. I do it nearly enough. I have done way more dramatic material than I’ve done comedy. Whenever I do training in The Booking Room in Atlanta, it offers me the opportunity to play and do improv. To have fun is the most important thing and to get up there and cut loose and let your personality to shine through.  I’m naturally a very goofy person so I can be very serious but it’s so much more fun to make people laugh and to laugh at yourself. I think that’s something I did more of and look forward to diving more into this year.

With the various roles you’ve played on from The Quad, 24:Legacy, Tales on BET, and Stranger Things, do you have a favorite role?

I had a blast doing all those roles. I would like to speak on one role from an independent film called Lucky Charms. I really cut loose in that one, and I got to play a psychotic character. He’s completely off his rocker and a supervillain. The opportunity to play a supervillain is always fun and really able to go into some dark territory with a role like this. Everyone in the film did a fantastic job, and Tiara Luten directed it. She did the film Goddess. I did some composing and musical scoring on that film. It’s my first music credit in a film. I really appreciate her for that.
To be in Stranger Things was a dream come true. When Stranger Things came out, that was my absolute favorite series. I’m such 80’s nostalgic baby. Watching films like E.T.  and The NeverEnding Story and to escape and have a good time and to keep you on the edge of your seat. With Stranger Things, it was all of that. To dive into a series like that and never thought that less than a year later that I would be on the second season. That was a dream come true, and I will never forget that experience. I had so much fun working on set. I’m very appreciative of my agents for getting me that audition, and it will sit with me the rest of my life. 

Any role that you have played that you feel is a lot like you?

There are two different ways to answer this question. If there was anyone in particular that was like me., it would be the role I play on The Quad. I played Duncan who is the big brother to Bryce (one of the main characters) on the show. I think it kind of mirrors the relationship with my brother in real life.  That was one thing that I definitely kept in my mind. When I got the role, I thought that I don ‘t have to do anything extravagant because this guy is me.  The relationship between him and Bryce is like that typical big brother. Definitely some picking on going on, but at the same time, he’s still big bro. He been there before and understands what his little brother is going through. I think having a little brother really help me to be able to understand whatever what Bryce was going through and to do my part in playing that role to carry the story forward.

 Tell me a couple of fun facts about you.

I got my first kiss in kindergarten, and I didn’t even want it. 
I would like to travel and to be able to taste food from every culture. Who wouldn’t want to travel and try different foods?  I told my agents that if they ever come across a food show that needs a host, I would want it. That’s a huge dream of mine.

I share motivational quotes with my readers, do you have one you could share.

 Never give up. Never surrender.

Who do you look up in the industry in Atlanta?

I’m so inspired by so many different people and my peers. Those that I work with at The Booking Room are just a few I look up like Travis LaBranch and Patrick Walker. My parents are huge. In my influence, artistic and spiritual, my Mother and Father are the most influential. My parents are artists in their own respects. They influenced me the most and I’m forever grateful for them. They have given me so much throughout my life.

 If there was one thing you could change in the world, what would that be?

I would like for everyone to be happy. There are so many things that come from being happy. I would also want everyone to be loved. I think that if you’re happy, in one shape or form that you are loved.

Anybody you would love to work with?

 If I could put Will Smith, Jim Carrey, and Leonardo Dicaprio in one film, I would not any more roles. I wouldn’t have to act again. That right there is a dream. Those three have influenced me so much.

In one word, describe yourself.


What other dreams do you have?

I have dreamed about directing. There are so many things on my to-do list. Writing is huge since when I was little, but directing is something that I would absolutely love to do. I would love to tell the story from behind the camera. I’ve loved telling stories since I was a little boy.

You’re one of the co-owners of The Booking Room, what do you want people to know about it?

It’s a judgment-free zone. It’s a place where you can be yourself. You can most certainly try things there. It’ s a perfect environment for anything that you want to work on like character work. You’re doing it in front of your peers and people you know and people you don’t know. There are always new people in there.  It’s a place where you can learn and network and be challenged and be around people who have the same dreams and aspirations as you do. Individuals that are there are different places in their careers and that can be very inspiring.  We want to leave The Booking Room feeling inspired and that you can conquer anything.

One final question, if there was one thing you could change in the world, what would that be?

I would like for everyone to be happy. There are so many things that come from being happy. I would also want everyone to be loved. I think that if you’re happy, in one shape or form that you are loved.

  Social Links
 OneandOnlyFinal his video short
Actor Reel

If you would like to read about Jarrett's improv with a group of actors out of Atlanta, check this link out from my site in which I wrote a review.

© 2014 Maria Rochelle. WP Wildweblab converted by Bloggertheme9